Last-gasp attempt to block patent directive

Last-gasp attempt to block patent directive

Summary: The EU software patent directive was scheduled to be adopted next Monday, but a last-minute move by Denmark could now derail the process

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TOPICS: Government UK
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Opponents of the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive are set to launch a last-minute intervention to try and prevent it being adopted by the European Council.

The directive, which many claim will allow the widespread software patenting in Europe, is scheduled to appear on the agenda of a meeting of competition ministers on Monday 7 March.

As an A-item, the directive had once again been expected to be approved without debate, but it emerged late on Friday that Denmark will attempt to have the directive listed as a B-item at a later meeting instead. This means the text of the directive could be renegotiated, according to Florian Mueller, an anti-patent campaigner.

"If it works out like that this will be EU history. It is without precedent that anybody can specify that the EU council at the stage is unable to ratify a decision. But we have to understand that nothing is ever stable. We have to see what happens on Monday," said Mueller.

Denmark's representative at the meeting of ministers is compelled to ask for the change because of a vote by the Danish Parliament's EU committee that came out in favour of seeking to reopen discussions. Denmark's government is legally bound to adopt any parliamentary decisions regarding the EU.

Denmark's move could provoke a domino effect, encouraging other countries such as Poland and Spain -- who have concerns about the directive -- to also push for renegotiation.

"This is like a chain reaction. Everyone has said 'We don’t to be the only ones who spoil the party'," said Mueller. "We are now seeing the dominoes collapsing all the way, but it looks like Denmark will be the first one to start the reaction."

But other reports on Friday claimed that the directive will be adopted at Monday's meeting.

A Luxemburg official told Reuters that competition ministers were expected to approve the directive as an A-item.

"We have not seen any change of heart on the part of any EU member," said the official, whose country holds the European Union presidency.

Topic: Government UK

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11 comments
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  • How many lives has this thing got
    anonymous
  • A better question: with so much opposition across Europe, *why* is this thing still alive? This speaks to fundamental problems with democracy in the EU.
    anonymous
  • Squeaky nuts get the leak!
    anonymous
  • Now that "the Dollar" is the SIR in England lets hope for more logic and strengh in the rest of EU.
    Come on Sweden, Finland (join the EU Norway) Poland, we all know how few will gain on software patents.
    anonymous
  • Shame on you Charlie McCreevy and Jos
    anonymous
  • This could seriously backfire on many political parties across the EU should this directive get passed as an A item. Simply because a rubber stamped A item despite so much opposition would raise questions amongst voters that political party campaigners will find hard to explain in the upcoming elections and votings.

    Lame excuses as hiding behind, perhaps commercially motivated or otherwise ignorant, "experts", stating that "this is how the EU works" or saying that "they've done their best" isn't good enough anymore.

    Politicians will be reminded more about their actions beforehand, not so much the actions done afterwards should this directive get rubber stamped.

    Thing is that politicians cost vast amounts of tax money. Those that can't perform and act on what they say they stand for should expect though questions concerning their own personal "value for tax money". Maybe even protest voters.
    anonymous
  • Charlie McCreevy and Jos
    anonymous
  • This is not just about Patents, this is about CRIMINAL ATCS BEING COMMITED AGAINST DEMOCRACY in the dark backrooms of power by BIG BUSINESS & CORRUPT PUBLIC OFFICIALS!!!!
    anonymous
  • I would be very surprised if their weren't atleast a few corrupt beurocrats in the European Commission trying to foce this act through.

    The way this bill is so unpopular to everyone but big business yet is trying to be forced through as a 'totally uncontroversial' bill just makes the existance of corruption within the European Commission undeniable.
    anonymous
  • Before the software patent debate, I was pro-european. How naive and stupid I was back then
    anonymous
  • Mao said 'political power comes out of the barrel of a gun'.
    Apparently a bullet to the head or a knife in the guts is the only language politicians understand today.
    anonymous